Avon Lake Maroon Wins 6th Grade War on the Shore
A penny for good luck? For Allie Heschel it was.
Avon Lake sixth-grade basketball player Allie Heschel saw a penny on the floor when she walked into the gym at Avon Lake High School.
“It was heads up so I put it in my shoe for good luck,” she said.
Allie plays for Avon Lake Maroon, a sixth-grade travel basketball team competing in Avon Lake’s War on the Shore (WOTS)Tournament. The War on the Shore is the Avon Lake Travel Basketball Association’s end of season tournament, held at Avon Lake High School. The seventh-annual WOTS hosted 47 girls and boys teams from across northeast Ohio this past weekend. Teams came from as far away as Mentor, Solon, Stow and Vermilion to compete in fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade divisions.
Allie’s Avon Lake team beat Olmsted Falls 27-to-26 to win the sixth-grade girls championship.
It was a game to remember.
In the WOTS Championship, key first half baskets by Avon Lake’s Amber Achladis and Kelsey Simmerly helped keep pace and the game was tied 15-to-15 at halftime.
“I was nervous but also excited,” said Caroline Jantz, “because I knew we could beat them if we just tried our best.”
Olmsted Falls started the second half red hot though and took a 25 to 18 lead with just under 5 minutes to play in the game.
“I knew we could make a comeback,” Achladis said. The comeback started with defense. “We really put a lot of pressure on the ball, and that helped us out a lot” Paighton Masterson said.
Inside defense from Elle Dils and Natalie Appleton helped too.
Avon Lake’s defense was so good down the stretch it held Olmsted Falls to just one point over the final five minutes and gave their offense a chance to comeback. They did. With less than a minute to play, Avon Lake was down 26 to 24 when Jamie Coughlin grabbed an offensive rebound and scored a follow-up basket.
“I just shot it back up,” Jamie said simply. Her basket tied the game.
Then, with 6.2 seconds left Avon Lake had the ball with the game was still tied. Heschel was fouled while trying to catch a pass. She went to the foul line to shoot one free throw. Making it would mean the chance at a second.
“I was really nervous,” said the girl who started the weekend by tucking the lost penny in her shoe.
Allie made the first free throw and gave her team a one-point lead. The second attempt was missed and Olmsted Falls grabbed the rebound and tried to get the ball down the floor quickly only to have their pass intercepted by Avon Lake’s Liz Murdock. The ball was secure and the comeback—and win-- was complete.
You could say the penny was a good investment.